eLearning

RTI & eCredit use of Compass

I’m an eCredit teacher after-school and a Biology teacher at Longmont High. I am also one of the people in my building who is on the RTI team. You can read more about me and the other teachers in the eCR program here

This fall I started teaching for eCredit and I immediately saw the connections for using the online software as an RTI support mechanism. Research shows that the best RTI programs have credit recovery opportunities during school or outside of school for students to make up failed classes and our district’s eCredit recovery program and content show great possibility. eCredit uses Compass Learning Odyssey software and it’s mostly beneficial because it is standards based.  Here’s what i mean: if a student has a high knowledge base, they can test out of topics or units that our district has customized. Then the Compass system generates what they didn’t show proficiency on. This way, they only need to focus on the work that they maybe missed in class due to absences or topics they just did not understand.

Using Compass as a math intervention especially can be very beneficial and something we have discussed at LHS for 9th grade RTI. Students could be working on Compass class they failed concurrently with the math class. This would allow them to make up the topics right away instead of falling further behind. If teachers had some training with Compass, they could assign pieces to students to use at home for re-looping purposes. This would be so great to use with students that missed class for an extended absence or to reteach materials that were not proficient on Unit tests. It is so hard to find time in class to reloop and that is such an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle.

But it doesn’t end there, we could use Compass as an evaluation tool to see where students are at and to diagnose needs of students. Since compass can be individualized per student, teachers could assign different concepts to students based on the diagnostics.

 

eCredit Biology Teacher’s First Dance with eCredit

As a teacher that had not heard of the SVVSD eCredit recovery program until earlier this year, I had an opportunity this semester to learn so much about this very successful program.  I started working on customizing Biology units and labs early this summer and am still working on refining it.
When eCredit started this September some of my eCredit students recovering Biology came to the program with a rather negative attitude; however, within weeks they found themselves finding great success at becoming autonomous learners.  Part of the expectation as a facilitator was to deliver a learning experience that built autonomous learning skills in students. In addition to our culture of community and autonomy, students found the online coursework very motivating because they could test out of curriculum they understood and found the harder they worked, the faster they would recover their credit.  Each of them had a individualized plan generated by the online course work that allowed them to work at their own pace.  As students completed the program, the students remaining worked even harder to complete their course work.  Biology, as a course had a great challenge to overcome in having students fulfill the hands-on lab requirement portion of the class. Housed after-school at Student Service’s Digital Learning Lab, students are able to successfully complete labs. Students found the hands- on labs to be the perfect break from the online curriculum. I put together the labs  for each unit over the summer and adapted them from labs used in general classrooms throughout the district. The lab  procedures were adapted to be more individualized and the materials were adapted to be done on a smaller scale. Each unit has 2-3 required labs that students can work on to break-up their time in the classroom.  With my facilitation and direct instruction, students were able to work on different labs in different units on their own.
I am a great supporter of the eCredit program; it gives students the opportunity to get credit for what they know and work at their own pace on the material they struggle with. I am proud to join the eCredit team.